Jeju is famous for it's black pork, it even has a street called Black Pork Street dedicated to serving black pork! There's so many restaurants selling black pork so which one should you go to? During our stay in Jeju we visited two black pork restaurants and found both to be excellent choices, we visited Donsadon and Hwaro Yang.
19, Uopyeong-ro, Jeju, Jeju Island 63107, South Korea
GPS phone number: 7468989
There are a few Donsadon stores in Jeju, we visited the one in Jeju City as we were staying around the area. We arrived at approximately 8PM on a Saturday night and had to wait 20-30 minutes.
We ordered 2 servings of black pork, kimchi stew and a bottle of Cass beer.
There is a female waiter who speaks seven languages so if you are worried about the language barrier, other waiters will find her to serve you. After we ordered with the lady, a young male waiter served us for the rest of the night, he helped us cook the meat, told us which sauce we should have the meat with and also explained to us about the pork that we were having. Whilst most of us are use to samgyupsal ("sam" meaning three layers) which is the pork belly we usually have in most Korean BBQ restaurants with three layers of fat, Donsadon serves black pork with five layers of fat making the meat super thick and chunky like the picture above.
While the appearance of the cooked pork looks tough and thick it actually tasted quite "light & fluffy" and easy to eat. There's not a lot of flavor so you should dip it in the sauce provided or eat it with the vegetables and other side dishes on the table. You can also tell that the pork is quite fresh and of better quality than your usual pork belly at other Korean restaurants. Also, Donsadon cooks the pork with coal.
The price of the meal is on the high end, it costed approximately KRW70,000 in total for the meal!
This was our lovely waiter, he's opening a Donsadon store in Daegu and his customer service was excellent. We were told that if you want to open a Donsadon franchise you have to work and learn from the boss of Donsadon in Jeju until the boss is confident in you to allow you to open a Donsadon restaurant without his supervision. The waiters are all super hardworking and work 6-7 days a week from 7AM ish till 12AM!
Now time for Hwaro Hyang!
1399-2 Geonip-dong, Cheju, Jeju-do, South Korea
GPS phone number:7244050
Hwaro Hyang is situated in Black Pork Street, if you go early enough you can get parking right on the side next to the restaurant.
Hwaro Hyang offers two types of seating, you can sit on the floor or on the tables. We decided to sit on the floor since we haven't had a meal in Jeju on the floor yet.
There are waiters that speak Chinese and English which made it easier to order. The menu is a little larger than Donsadon and offers abalones too however we stuck to the usual two servings of black pork.
The black pork was a lot thinner than Donsadon and you could even see the black hair on the skin.
The best things about Korean meals in Korea is of course the side dishes, we got the usual side dishes but was also given a free steamed egg and soybean paste stew which was absolutely amazing since I'm always up for Korean stews and steamed egg.
The black pork was cooked on a metal plate on top of a gas stove, the down side to this was there was oil splattering everywhere!
The pork was thin and crispy, it didn't taste as "light & fluffy" as Donsadon however it was definitely crispier than Donsadon and had more flavor and it was also a little oilier than Donsadon. After finishing the majority of the pork, we ordered fried rice for only KRW2,000, the fried rice is cooked on the same stove, using the left over pork, kimchi, oil and flavor on the stove top. The waiter also brought over some extra vegetables to include in the fried rice and she specifically made a love heart for us!
The fried rice was really really really really good! If you're a fan of kimchi fried rice, you'll definitely enjoy this and it's totally worth getting it for only an extra KRW2,000!
Lastly, we were offered two (one per person) free naengmyun (cold noodles) however we only ordered one as we were stuffed and didn't want to waste food especially since it was free. We were really surprised with the free cold noodles as you usually have to pay for this and in Hong Kong it costs like HKD80+ for a bowl of cold noodles! There wasn't a lot of cold noodles in the bowl they gave us but we were happy with what we got since it was free! The whole meal costed approximately KRW35,000 which was amazingly cheap!
Now did I like Donsadon better or Hwaro Hyang? Donsadon's service beats Hwaro Hyang just by a tiny bit and in terms of the pork, I'd prefer Donsadon just by a tiny bit (very hard to decide which one is better) however I also liked Hwaro Hyang for it's variety as we got to order fried rice and have cold noodles and steamed eggs. It's really hard to decide which one is better in my opinion however all I can say is the Korean BBQ in Jeju is a lot better than in Hong Kong so we enjoyed every bit of our black pork BBQ experience in Jeju!